Thursday, June 15, 2006

"We have intelligent people that know the right words to say to get attention," he said of those who have complained.

By icess fernandez Caller-Times
August 11, 2005

Within eight months, six complaints of discrimi nation were filed against Del Mar College through the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights. An additional complaint, filed July 6, is still pending.

College officials said they had only heard of one such complaint filed previously with the agency in recent memory.

The complaints allege discrimination by the college on the basis of color, race and sex, according to federal documents, and could eventually cost the college $17.9 million.

Members of the Office of Civil Rights have visited the college at least three times in recent months to conduct investigations into the complaints. Copies of employment files, student records, policies of student groups, and grievance and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) procedures were reviewed. And college employees, including faculty and staff members, as well as students and former students, were interviewed, according to college officials.

Del Mar College President Carlos A. Garcia said the discrimination alleged by the complainants is not true.

"We have intelligent people that know the right words to say to get attention," he said of those who have complained.
Mike Westergren, the college's in-house counsel in charge of overseeing the college's complaint procedures, said that the complainants are abusing the system and are missing the bigger picture.
Rules necessary
"People are using this to undermine the mission of the college. It's a serious thing to say but it's true," Westergren said. "We educate kids, and in order to do that we have to set rules."
Representatives from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights would not comment on the cases but said that if they find a violation of federal law, a letter of resolution would be sent to the college. The letter would detail how the college was non-compliant with federal laws and would include a plan of action on how to fix the violations.
The college then would enter into an action plan with the federal agency and would be monitored for two years. Monitoring could include regular visits from the office of civil rights to the college, and deadlines to implement parts of the action plan as well as reports submitted to the agency.
Should the college decide not to enter into an agreement, another letter would be sent to the college which would include a time limit on the settlement process and the consequence of failure to reach a settlement. If there is still no agreement, the office of civil rights could initiate a process to suspend, terminate or refuse funds given to the college by the Department of Education. The office of civil rights also could refer the cases to the Department of Justice for judicial proceedings, or establish a team to prosecute the college.
complaints incomplete
Del Mar College received $17.9 million last year in federal funding from the Department of Education. The majority of the money goes toward student financial aid, including some scholarships, Pell grants, and loans, which are funded by the department. The department also funds federal programs such as the college's TRIO program, which helps retain and recruit first-generation and minority students. Almost 50 percent of Del Mar's students receive financial aid, according to the college.
Westergren said none of the complainants completed the grievance or EEOC process through the college before filing another one through the office of civil rights.
"When people don't like the outcome, they go somewhere else for a different outcome," he said. "If for just a moment what they were saying in these complaints were true, I won't work here."
According to the complaint documents, the majority - five out of six complainants - either started the process but did not continue because of college policy, or weren't allowed to start the process altogether. The sixth feared retaliation, the complaint said.
One of those who filed a complaint with the college, according to federal documents, was barred from entering a building on campus. The student was expelled one week before the initial visit of the federal agency on campus. According to college policy at the time, if a student no longer attends the college, any grievance or complaint filed through the college is dropped.
Another complainant, who isn't a faculty, staff member or student at the college but someone who has used the facilities at the college, filed a complaint through the college's human resources department and felt he was retaliated against because he did so, according to federal documents. After the alleged retaliation, which he said included additional charges to use the college's facilities, the person filed a complaint through the Department of Education.
30-day evaluation
It takes about 30 days for the office of civil rights to evaluate a complaint before deciding to take action. Once the federal agency starts to investigate, it could take up to six months to come to a decision. The first of the six complaints were filed in September 2004 and the cases remain open.
Del Mar College employees were told of the situation in a July 21, 2005, memo sent by Garcia. The memo said the college supported the federal agency's efforts and that during their visit, students and employees would be interviewed.
The memo also states that:
"Del Mar College does not and will not tolerate intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by regulations enforced by OCR or because one has proceedings or hearing held in conjunction with a complaint."
All six complainants feared retaliation or detailed a form of retaliation in their complaints because they've complained before going to the federal agency.
Westergren said the college's complaint processes are adequate, but should the federal government recommend policy changes, the college would take them into consideration.

Contact Icess Fernandez at 8863748 or HYPERLINK mailto:fernandezi@caller.com fernandezi@caller.com

11 comments:

Jaime Kenedeño said...

Is it one complaint


College officials said they had only heard of one such complaint filed previously with the agency in recent memory.


OR

Complaints as in more than one?

Del Mar College President Carlos A. Garcia said the discrimination alleged by the complainants is not true.

Anonymous said...

as if they would remember to put in on the "agenda"

i can c ccisd in this thick in the "solomon coles" DISCRIMINATION krap!

notice paying customers are wearing "SEAL SKIN"!?!

Jaime Kenedeño said...

Members of the Office of Civil Rights have visited the college at least three times in recent months to conduct investigations into the complaints. Copies of employment files, student records, policies of student groups, and grievance and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) procedures were reviewed. And college employees, including faculty and staff members, as well as students and former students, were interviewed, according to college officials.

Is the "just another day" at Del Mar?

could eventually cost the college $17.9 million.

This sticks out like a sore thumb. Money should be the least concern given that peoples lives are being ruined. Money and more money are the concerns. Not how to give the regular workers a raise or free coffee like the executive elite recieve from an in house vendor. It is evident in the choice of frugalness within this clique. It is a issue of "haves" & "have nots". The "haves" want to blame the "have nots" for just following rules. Like when something needs to be fixed and it is noted.

Jaime Kenedeño said...

"We have intelligent people that know the right words to say to get attention," he said of those who have complained.
Mike Westergren, the college's in-house counsel in charge of overseeing the college's complaint procedures, said that the complainants are abusing the system and are missing the bigger picture.
Rules necessary
"People are using this to undermine the mission of the college. It's a serious thing to say but it's true," Westergren said. "We educate kids, and in order to do that we have to set rules."


Why is this not going on at the other schools?

Jaime Kenedeño said...

"Westergren said none of the complainants completed the grievance or EEOC process through the college before filing another one through the office of civil rights.
"When people don't like the outcome, they go somewhere else for a different outcome," he said. "If for just a moment what they were saying in these complaints were true, I won't work here."
According to the complaint documents, the majority - five out of six complainants - either started the process but did not continue because of college policy, or weren't allowed to start the process altogether. The sixth feared retaliation, the complaint said."


none of the complainants completed the grievance or EEOC process through the college before filing another one through the office of civil rights.

Did not Carlos Garcia comment that "these students know the right words to say to get attention" but they do not know the grievance process? Not likely. Something happened and the due process is being thwarted.


One of those who filed a complaint with the college, according to federal documents, was barred from entering a building on campus. The student was expelled one week before the initial visit of the federal agency on campus. According to college policy at the time, if a student no longer attends the college, any grievance or complaint filed through the college is dropped.

Due process is being interfered with.

dannoynted1 said...

I WILL NVER FORGET THE 1ST TIME I SAW THE "NUTCRACKER"

IT WAS @ RICHARD AUDITORIUM FALL OF 2001 AND IT WAS AWESOME!

NEVER BEEN THERE SINCE BUT IT WAS A FIELD TRIP W/MY BOY VIA CCISD

THANK YOU=====

SURELY, A DUKE BREEDING OFFICIALLY CANT HELP!!!!!!!!

AS THEIR KINDER TEACHER STATED TO THE CHILDREN WHEN TAKING THEIR "PAYING" CUSTOMERS LUNCH MONEY:

"MONEY,MONEY,MONEY-I LOVE MONEY"

HELLO-CALLING ALL WEIRDOS---I BET YA'LL BALK EVERY TIME YOU PITCH!!!!!!!!!!!

YUP! MARIE IN CCISD

MARK MONTCLAIR HUGHES OF THE POLLY MEADOWS PATTON MASON HARRIS GANG "HARRISPIKAYUNE"

WILL MIGHT AS WELL SLIPPERS TO WORK TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations for finally making it possible to expose the corruption at Del Mar College. When I first came forward and reported dangerous conditions and violations of health and safety in Richardson Auditorium, I was accused of misrepresenting the facts by Joe Alaniz. Joe Alaniz threatened my employment in a performance appraisal and finally conspired to not renew my contract several years later. I knew my time was limited. I knew that I was one person against an administration full of corrupt administrators who wanted me out because I chose to rock the boat. Terry Dicianna, Joe Alaniz and Gabe Rivas all publicly denied my charges. Yet, here we are two years after my contract was unfairly denied renewal by Joe Alaniz based on false complaints from Pat Townsend, that were never investigated in violation of DMC Policy. They wanted me out before the “upgrade” because I knew every inch of the auditorium and the safety and health hazards. I do not believe Joe Alaniz or the coordinating architect ever intended to solve all the safety and health problems in a theatrically acceptable manner and I suspect there will be many problems when the auditorium reopens. There certainly will not be enough restrooms for a seventeen hundred-seat auditorium. I would also be concerned about positioning the Box Office and refreshment counter where they have as it looks to me like long lines will block the entrance creating a crowd control problem. Crowd control problems require more employees. Three or four million dollars have been spent on the auditorium to fix dangerous conditions, health and safety violations. While I personally saw no need to spend large sums on a new sound system which apparently has been done, I would have demanded the old moldy and no longer fire proof curtains and draperies should be replaced. Than draperies need to be maintained and fireproofed or replaced on a schedule. I hope they do that. I asked them to shut down the auditorium until it could be fixed and they claimed the auditorium was safe to continue to use. What did they spend so many millions to fix if the auditorium had been safe to operate to begin with? Now I read in the Regents minutes that Joe Alaniz is promoting a new auditorium contract, something I requested for years. I have documents that show the contract I was forced to use was written in the fifties with some updates and afterthoughts. It was a joke, an embarrassment when professionals were asked to sign it. They knew right away it was unenforceable. Joe Alaniz consistently refused to allow me to upgrade the contract even after I presented several new versions based on many currently in use in Texas and around the country. Joe Alaniz is promoting a WEB based ticketing program, which Joe Alaniz and Jose Rivera also denied me. If they had given the go ahead it could have been in use years ago. Joe Alaniz is asking to rescind the arrangement of the special no fee schedule which the Board agreed to after the performing arts groups came to my defense, most probably to keep them quiet. So much for trusting the word of the Board of Regents. Joe Alaniz now wants the auditorium to be a profit center, which he belittled me for and attacked me over time and again when I tried to promote that very same concept. Finally, Alaniz shows his incompetence in matters of performance center management and finance as he promotes a one fee fits all fee schedule. That concept discriminates against small performing arts groups who are either just starting out or command only small audiences. It favors larger established groups who can fill many seats and thereby end up paying less per ticket for the use of the auditorium. It certainly is not good economic practice if you are trying to make a profit, as one would expect of a profit center. Than too, the new auditorium manager has no business experience. I would guess he does not want to be bothered by the extra work required to collect fees based on ticket sales as most professional profit center based auditoriums do. The joke of it all is that if the auditorium is going to be a profit center it needs a full staff of competent trained employees who know how to do the job. All of which I had been saying for years while Joe Alaniz took every opportunity to criticize and belittle me in front of the Board and other employees. I know that I did a good job running Richardson Auditorium. I know that the only reason the auditorium has these improovements is because of me. I know that had Pat Townsend and Joe Alaniz done their jobs there would have been more money for the auditorium and that a real renovation not just an "upgrade " might have been possible. I feel that they are the losers and that in the end I won my battle. Alaniz wanted me out since 1998 or 1999 and I survived till August 2004. I am proud of that.

Horton said...

My experience with Del Mar College taught me one thing. Trust no one in authority at the College. Watch Gabe Rivas deposition and realize that whatever DMC Policy states. What ever Board Policy states there is no protection in those policies. The lawyers are telling the Regents not to follow their own policies. Judge Westergren is not there to see that employees are treated fairly. He is there to prtect the administration and their corrupt practices. When I was an employee the college failed to follow any of their grievance policy. Rosie Garcia in writing even misquoted DMC Policy and no action was taken against her. These people make up their own rules as they go along. I would advise any employee to protect themselves by seeing a lawyer or filing complaints with the appropriate government agency and even than realize that you are most likely on your own and retaliation is guranteed, no matter what the rules say.

Jaime Kenedeño said...

Theresa Montez
prideofsb@awesomenet.net to me
Hide options 10:40 pm (3 minutes ago)
From: Theresa Montez prideofsb@awesomenet.net Mailed-By: awesomenet.net
To: Jaime Kenedeno kingalonzoalvarezdepinedaxiii@gmail.com
Date: Jun 15, 2006 10:40 PM
Subject: Re: Del Mar: Dear Mike Westergren, I extend my hand out (in the interest of peace & resolution) to the Del Mar Administration, Faculty, Staff & Board of Regents.
Reply | Reply to all | Forward | Print | Add sender to Contacts list | Delete this message | Report phishing | Show original | Message text garbled?
I have asked you repeatedly to take me off of your e-mail list. Don't just assume that because you get an e-mail with my name on it that you have the right to send me e-mails. I am asking you again TAKE MY E-MAIL OFF OF YOUR LIST!


I apologize!

At least we know who you side with Theresa Montez?

Anonymous said...

you do not have to answer them nor recieve them

use the block e-mail and press enter

and voila you block the sender!

Anonymous said...

Rumor had it that Del Mar Administrators as well as Regents were purchasing property (in some cases in others names) around the College having insider knowledge of DMC future plans to purchase said property. The point being to profit off the DMC's expansion plans. I've been told the Caller-Times had this info but refused to print it. As I understand it this may not be illegal but in my oppinion highly unethical.

The Secretary of State cleared her to run.

I think these guys are going to learn a lesson or two....

from the attorney general down. The Secretary of State cleared Ms Garcia to run. If you read the AG opinion you will know what a crook this guy is when it comes to the little people. Carlos Valdez, I cant see how he would obtain Jurisdiction given there is no criminal act. This matter should be processed through existing administrative law.




A Voter Registration in Kleberg While Residing in Nueces?

The question is, which home was her domicile. I have been to her Apartment here in Corpus Christi, it sure looks like it is her primary residence.

I cannot imagine Carlos Valdez even having anything to do with this case, given his history with Mike Westergren and I am told with Joe Alaniz as well.

If Carlos Valdez prosecutes this lady, he is a fool.

I stand behind her.